I remember my childhood days when we used to listen to radio commentary between India and Pakistan Hockey matches. What a nail biting finish these matches had. Nobody could match Indian hockey team. In fact between 1928 and 1980, India won 8 Olympic gold medals in hockey. After 1980, we have not won a single hockey gold. At the 2012 London Olympics, India’s hockey team finished last in a field of 12
So what went wrong? Nothing except rules of the game changed. Till 1970 hockey was played on grass (natural) but in the mid 1970s International Hockey Federation altered the rules to make synthetic astroturf the mandatory playing surface for international hockey tournaments.
Since these were expensive ground, India could not afford them and as a result we started losing out in a sport where we used to rule the world.
This might be sounding familiar to many of Indian companies & employees in 2020, though the situation is quite different. This time around nature has changed the rules of the game viz COVID situation. COVID has brought around many disruptions and the biggest being it has changed the rules of the game. Size of total business pie has shrunk; some experts put it at 60% i.e the pie has shrunk by 40%.
This time around nature has changed the rules of the game viz COVID situation. COVID has brought around many disruptions and the biggest being it has changed the rules of the game. Size of total business pie has shrunk; some experts put it at 60%.
The worst hit is the unorganized segment; unfortunately this is the segment which extends employment to a very large chunk of population. Thousand have lost jobs and majority of plants are running at almost half of their capacity.
The question is what can be done?
Adapt or perish, One thing is for sure and it never changes i.e basics and universal laws. Five things that we can suggest to employees are as follows
ALIGN & UNDERSTAND THE REALITY - The best way is to understand and align with the situation, no company be it from organized or unorganized sector had planned for COVID, therefore the impact is huge in every sector. The unorganized sector has been impacted the most and we all know the reasons. We all know that there have been salary cuts in many companies and this has left many employees wondering and feeling dejected but smartness is stepping into the shoes of an entrepreneur and feeling his issues too. Promoters have to do a balancing act for so many stakeholders, suppliers, vendors, labour, govt statutory obligations and employees.
CHANGE YOUR STYLE - when 20-20 cricket was introduced many talented test and 50-50 overs players were suddenly struggling, they could not change their game and were thrown out of the team. People who could change their game and add new skills survived and started growing. In the present situation the market size has shrunk and every key customer is being attacked by all the companies. The winner is the one who can understand the pain points of the customer and maintain healthy relations with him. Regular visits and service levels will play an important role. We have seen in the past that sometimes some sales people only visited a handful of customers but today they will have to increase this many fold and visit lots of customers to reach normal level. Please come out of your comfort zones. Remember - important is you have to reach out to the customers, they have many options.
FOCUS ON BIGGER/ IMPORTANT ISSUES FIRST - Most of the companies are struggling because of the cash crunch. One of the biggest reasons is Old Outstandings and Slow moving stock. Focus on getting collection and selling the inventory - even if you have to negotiate the pricing please do and ensure this material sells immediately.
SMART WORKING - Today every company is struggling for cash flow, Cash is the king. Focus on getting more rotations and improve the payment cycle for your company. I know it can be tough but imagine if you can improve the cash flow even by 30% the business will bounce back at double the pace.
REFLECT: Few years back I learned this beautiful art called “Self Reflection”, it’s a very simple exercise but one of the most effective ones. U can write on a paper all the things that u did and then write what else u could have done to make it better. Believe me if you're honest with yourself … it works like magic… Try this. ( Example is I did not visit top 20% of my customers, I started doing that after self reflection)
Vikas Marwaha is a senior Sale and Marketing professional with three decades of experience, he is a thought Leader in Building material Industry. His present assignment is Head Sales & Marketing – Everest Industries Ltd (B&P). As a hobby he runs a blog for sales fraternity and trade (www. freesaletips.com). He has been instrumental in disrupting the wood panel industry (Medium Density Fibre Boards – MDF). He has an MBA degree and has also done strategic Management from IIM-C.